Director Bejoy Nambiar made a smashing debut with SHAITAN . The way he helmed the film with perfection made it difficult for many to believe that it was his first outing. His later Bollywood films like DAVID  and WAZIR  didn’t meet expectations but all hope was not lost on him. And now he’s returned with TAISH and from the trailer, it looks like a taut action thriller. So does TAISH manage to entertain and enthral viewers? Or does it fail to impress? Let’s analyse.
TAISH is the story of two families who end up destroying each other. Rohan Kalra (Jim Sarbh) is a UK resident of Indian origin who works as a GP in a hospital. He is living-in with Arfa Sayeed Khan (Kriti Kharbanda), who is of Pakistani origin. Rohan takes leave from work to be with his family in the countryside and to attend the wedding of his brother Krish (Ankur Rathee) with Mahi (Zoa Morani). Rohan wants Arfa to join him but he’s apprehensive how his father (Ikhlaque Khan) would react on knowing that he’s dating a Muslim girl. Arfa understands and stays back. Rohan returns home and his mother (Monisha Hassen) tries to set him up with Simmi (Melissa Raju Thomas). Rohan’s best friend Sunny Lalwani (Pulkit Samrat) too joins the celebrations, meanwhile. He also convinces Arfa to come for the wedding and even tells the truth about their relationship to Rohan’s parents. All is going fine until one day the whole gang goes to a pub to celebrate. Here, Rohan sees Kuljinder Brar aka Kulli (Abhimanyu Singh). He goes berserk and has to be taken home. Sunny is puzzled at the turn of events. To which Rohan reveals that Kulli had sodomized Rohan when he was 10 years old. Sunny is enraged. He goes back to the pub where Kulli is still present. He assaults him in the washroom. Kulli’s life is saved but he loses his voice and ability to walk. Kulli’s brother is the notorious gangster Pali Brar (Harshvardhan Rane). Pali is cross with Kulli as the latter has married the love of his life Jahaan (Sanjeeda Shaikh). But when he learns about Kulli’s condition, he goes out all to find out who did it. When he realizes it is Sunny, Pali decides to take revenge. On the day of the wedding, he kills Krish. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Bejoy Nambiar’s story is decent. On paper, it must have sounded like a great thriller. But Anjali Nair, Kartik R Iyer, Bejoy Nambiar and Nicola Louise Taylor’s screenplay don’t do justice entirely. A few scenes are very well written and thought of but then there are also scenes which are pretty average and just add to the script’s length. Gunjit Chopra and Bejoy Nambiar’s dialogues are nothing great but a few of the one-liners in the first half are quite funny. However, the use of Punjabi for the scenes of Pali and the surrounding characters might compel audiences to activate subtitles.
Bejoy Nambiar’s direction could have been better. There’s no doubt that technically he’s quite superior and he uses his knowledge and expertise to enhance the impact in several scenes. The use of the red light especially is brilliant and makes for a visual treat. Some scenes also turn out to be exceptional. However, he fails to cover up the loopholes in the script. The way Pali and his family operate, that too in the UK, is very unconvincing. They have no fear of law and moreover, even when Pali is imprisoned, he has access to a cell phone with even the prison officials being on his payroll! In fact, the film would have been more realistic if it was set in Uttar Pradesh instead of the United Kingdom! Secondly, the first half is still fine but the film goes haywire in the second hour. Why did Rohan break off with Arfa? Couldn’t he have stayed with Arfa and grieved together? The other problem is with the love story of Pali and Jahaan. This track deserved a backstory without which it looked superficial.
TAISH has a thrilling beginning which sets the mood and the conflict between Pali and Kulli. The focus then also shifts to the Kalra family and how they are gearing up for Krish and Mahi’s wedding. A few scenes stand out here like Rohan trying to dodge the marriage topic from his mother and Rohan admitting that he wants to marry Arfa. The scene where Rohan confesses to his parents about Arfa (the mirror shot here is very wittily done) and the scenes where he chides his father for being rude to Arfa are two of the best scenes of the first hour. The film goes on another level when Sunny grievously injures Kulli. The tragic sequence of the demise of Krish also adds to the impact. But from hereon, the film falls. The manner in which the narrative moves two years ahead and the way Rohan turns very aloof are quite difficult to digest. Even the scenes of the problems arising in the Brar gang pop up out of the blue. A few scenes again arrest attention like Sunny attempting to finish off Pali in the prison and the pre-climax scene in the nightclub. But these scenes are few and far between. The finale lacks the punch. Also, at 2.22 hours, the film is too lengthy.
ENTERTAINING- Pulkit, Kriti, Jim, Sanjeeda & Bejoy’s HILARIOUS Rapid Fire on Ranbir, Ranveer, Taish
TAISH, however, is embellished with some fine performances by actors who try their best to rise above the script. Jim Sarbh arguably has the most screen time and does a great job. He has often played twisted characters and here he gets to play a sensible chap for a change. And he manages to do justice. Harshvardhan Rane looks dashing and gives a first-rate performance. He oozes fear and that proves advantageous for his character. Pulkit Samrat is the surprise of the film. Here, he plays an impulsive, stubborn man and gets totally into the skin of his character. He is especially great in the washroom action scene. Kriti Kharbanda looks stunning and gives an impressive performance. Sanjeeda Shaikh is strictly okay and her character is not well fleshed out. Zoa Morani has a fine screen presence. Ankur Rathee is decent. Abhimanyu Singh is dependable as always. Melissa Raju Thomas leaves a huge mark. Saurabh Sachdeva (Sukhi) gives a performance to watch out for. Viraf Patel (Shozi) is fine but how his character is known to Kalra’s is not established. The other actors who are decent are Ikhlaque Khan, Monisha Hassen, Armaan Khera (Jassi Brar), Saloni Batra (Sanobar Brar), Kunickaa Sadanand (Beeji), Mahavir Bhullar (Gyaan ji), Ekansh Kumar Sharma (Sattu) and Shivanshu Pandey (Ismail).
Music is a disappointment. ‘Shehnai Bajne Do’, ‘Jaago’ and ‘Saavan Mod Muhara’ get registered a bit. The rest of the songs like ‘Kol Kol’, ‘Roshni Si’, ‘Re Bawree’, ‘All I See Is The Light’ and ‘Mila Na Tu’ are forgettable. Gaurav Godkhindi and Govind Vasantha’s background score is a bit better. Harshvir Oberai’s cinematography is appropriate. The shaky camerawork is interesting. Ian Van Temperley’s action works as it’s not too gory. Gopika Gulwadi’s costumes are appealing especially in the marriage sequence. Mandar D Nagaonkar’s production design is rich. Priyank Prem Kumar’s editing could have been crisper. The film should have been shorter by 15-20 minutes.
On the whole, TAISH rests on an interesting storyline and is embellished with some fine performances. But the long length and a weak second half dilutes the impact to a great extent.